Summary Execution At Dawn
Review by Alex on December 3, 2019.
I was not on-board with this record from Oath of Cruelty. 1. even with the addition of death metal, thrash metal does nothing for me and 2. I'm just extremely harsh, demanding and biased towards it. Easily the most plagiarized of sub-genres and by far the most boring. Though important, its role in forming both black and death metal, unlike its offspring that matured over the years, thrash metal has gathered moss and stagnated apart from exceptions that have tried to take the sub-genre in new exciting directions. Coming back to my initial statement of not fully subscribing to the proposals of the brand (yes it’s a brand now, blame Metallica), hearing Danny Hiller (ex- Imprecation), Matt Heffner (Thy Feeble Saviour) and Dave Callier (ex-Morbosidad) are shouldering the weight of the recordings to come under the band immediately changed the outlook I had for Summary Execution at Dawn.
Summary Execution at Dawn is the best new thrash/death metal record I have heard for 2019. The involvement of members mentioned is among some of the better things that could have possibly happened for the band and album. Their input here is just as high as I would expect to be given their efforts in other more notable bands. And having the backing of Dark Descent Records, the quality of what is destined to be could only reflect distinction. The record is more in line with thrash metal though the death metal can be distinguished; its lightly added in comparison to the thrash attack that borders speed metal on many instances. Opener 'Pounding Hooves of Shrapnel' wastes no time in making the listener aware of Oath of Cruelty's intentions. Its cruelly fast and unforgiving riff-wise and drum wise. Dave's vocals are rugged, sharp and matches the level of the instruments mixing. More craziness follows with 'Stabbing Forth with Invincible Damnation' (features my favorite guitar solo of the record), 'Through Alchemy and Killing' and 'Pathogenic Winds of Swarm' that continually build the aggression transported to the last note played.
Matt's drumming is a thing to behold, his stamina and momentum never hindered through many changes in technique, whether speed metal, thrash or slower paced doom metal sections. Songs like the aforementioned 'Pounding Hooves of Shrapnel' and 'Stabbing Forth with Invincible Damnation' showcase some of his most versatile and demanding work on Summary Execution at Dawn and proves that his input had been very much necessary in making the album a classy showing. Danny Hiller (Archfiend) is not exempt from credible mention, given its his riffing that supply the icing on the cake. His produce on 'Pounding Hooves of Shrapnel', 'Pathogenic Winds of Swarm' and 'Victory Rites of Exsanguination' is delicious. His shredding has a melodic tone to that somewhat map's-out the climaxing and depressing slopes of the music making it a joy to follow along rather than a chore.
With procession, I could identify some Sarcófago influences creeping within the veneer of the music on Summary Execution at Dawn. Specifically, through the lead and soloing guitar work of Dave and Danny its identifiable their machinery had been oiled by the Brazilians in some ways. In addition, the diversity showcased in the instrumentation addresses the issue of stagnation within the sub-genre that has for some time till now refused to remove the training wheels from its vessel despite the efforts of some bands to make the genre more interesting and less linear and independent. Oath of Cruelty utilizes plenty a tempo to keep the listener interested and the album at an interactive peak that never really recedes despite the slightly less aggressive and mid paced inclusions heard on in the 'Chamber of Death' and 'At the Tyrant's Behest'. Title track 'Summary Execution at Dawn' is the best of the B side compliments of the dynamic riffing qualities of Dave and Danny whom fight for the spotlight through both technical and traditional riff-work. If you've been a thrash metal supporter or fanatic for some time then this album needs to be in your collection, it’s a competitive firestorm among musicians making it a record free of the boredom thrash metal has been associated with for decades.
Rating: 9 out of 10761